Wednesday, April 1, 2009






CD and DVD media storage has become quite the popular method for copying data, audio and video material. The difficulty becomes trying to identify the material once it’s on the disc. Numerous attempts have been made by inkjet printer manufacturers to incorporate disc media into paper fed printers. The problem typically is that mixing paper and disc stock results in ink residue that appears on the next printing job after changing the print stock. Printing on paper labels or stickers that are affixed to Cd and DVD media is not recommended by hardware manufactures as it can jam the recorder/player or create improper balance that results in disc errors. The use of a Sharpie looks very unprofessional and mistakes are not easily corrected. So what’s the solution?

DYMO® has introduced the DiscPainter® that is a low volume USB printer made exclusively for printing on discs. The DiscPainter® interfaces with Windows® and most Mac® OS X systems. Its small size, about like two stacked cigar boxes, allows it to be easily stored with your computer. Unfortunately no power switch is included, something I hope they correct. Printing is accomplished by a “spin on disc system” known as RadialPrint™, that results in very high quality reproduction of up to 1200 dpi. Depending on the quality setting, printing takes place from 1-3 minutes. The DiscPainter® uses one all-color ink cartridge with built-in print head. This is a nice feature since you are automatically getting a new print head with each new ink cartridge replacement thus maintaining high quality printing over the life of the printer. DYMO® tells me that one can expect better than 5000 impressions before printer replacement. Since this unit is not intended as a high volume printer it should provide many years of service. The ink cartridge will last from 100-150 impressions, or more, depending on the quality setting and equal use of colors in the artwork layout. (The use of the high quality setting uses much more ink, creates a thicker coating on the surface which may result in ink cracks and peeling over the life of the disc. This applies to any disc printing device.)

DYMO® includes a feature-packed software program known as Discus®. It can be used as a stand-a-lone creator or with PhotoShop®, PrintShop®, Adobe Illustrator®, InDesign®, QuarkXPress®, and SureThing® just to mention a few. Discus® includes several canvases as general backgrounds. Personally, I’d like to see more backgrounds made available as they speed up the process in making a quick layout. The DiscPainter® printer and Discus® software may be used with many other printers and software programs which makes this product extremely versatile. I was able to print professional quality discs straight out of the box without the use of test prints or lengthy instructions. I give it a thumbs up. Professional quality and good value are the key here! MSRP $279.95. On-line demos available at

Bob Skidmore is a freelance writer who may be contacted at


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